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When is the best time to book cheap airline tickets?

New airline report shows you don’t have to book your seats months and months in advance to bag the best deal…

SO MUCH FOR the commonly-held belief that you should purchase your airline tickets well in advance.

As travel shopping season kicks into high gear, a new report from the Airlines Reporting Corporation brings exciting news: the best time to purchase your airfare is about six weeks prior to travel.

Yep, only six weeks.

It took examining close to $80 billion (€62 billion) worth of airline tickets, spread over 144 million transactions for the ARC to come up with that answer.

The ARC did notice some low-priced fares become available during the 120-day cycles they analysed. But even so, the majority of tickets priced below the average fare “appeared about six weeks before the flight,” wrote the authors.

“We’re not advising people to purchase tickets only at this time during the cycle as there is no guarantee they will receive the lowest price of the year,” said ARC.

“It is just what the data indicates and we have seen this pattern over the last four years.”

Watch this short video to hear Chuck Thackston, managing director of data and analytics at ARC, discuss the study.

Read more by Jill Krasney on >

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